This past summer, I had the privilege of watching two of my grandchildren for a week. Anticipating that time, I felt much fear and trembling. Did I have enough energy to keep up with two preschool kids? Would they obey me or be wildly out of control? Would they miss their parents so much that they'd be miserable? All of these were valid concerns, but I garnered much prayer support for the week and my fears disintegrated. Other than my energy being taxed, it was a fabulous week.
But that week also put me in touch with all the temptations and pulls my grandkids already feel at their tender ages. It reminded me of the first time we took our young daughter into ocean waves. She was happily enjoying the way she bobbed in the water in her father's arms—until a huge wave made my husband lose his balance, toppling them both into the suction as it pulled them under. I was shocked at how quickly the wave sucked them down and out. My husband struggled against the tide as it pulled them out to sea, finally regaining his footing and swimming with our daughter back to shore. Our poor little girl came up sputtering and spitting salt water. Her terror that even her strong father couldn't get her above the waves rattled her faith for a while and she avoided everything but the shallowest water the rest of the time at the seashore.
Watching our grandkids grow up is a lot like watching a tide pull them out to sea and hoping they're strong enough to swim their way back to shore. When fear for them overtakes us, we lay them at Jesus' feet, trusting him to do what we cannot and keep them close to his heart and his ways.
The Christian Grandparenting Network is issuing a call to grandparents to do just that. They're hoping grandparents will gather in churches and communities on September 11, 2011, to pray for the children of our world, our families, and our country's leaders.
"These are desperate and uncertain times for all, but especially for our grandchildren," says Cavin Harper, Executive Director of CGN. "With Grandparent's Day falling on Sunday, September 11 this year, the tenth anniversary of 9/11, we felt prompted to turn this day of tragedy into a compelling opportunity for grandparents to stand in the gap on behalf of the next generations. It is our grandchildren who must navigate a world that is increasingly hostile toward Christianity and God's truth. It is time for our generation—today's grandparents—to step to the plate and determine that we will do all we can not to let a whole generation perish on our watch!"
Lillian Penner, National Prayer Coordinator for CGN and author of Grandparenting with a Purpose, is the catalyst behind this movement to call grandparents to prayer. Penner has been encouraging grandparents across the country to form G@P groups (Grandparents @ Prayer) since 2009. "Our grandchildren return to school this fall," she says, "so let's make this a time of intentional prayer for them. September 11, Grandparent's Day of Prayer will be powerful as grandparents stand in the gap for their grandchildren like Esther stood in the gap for her people when their lives were threatened. Let's be their prayer warriors."
Isaiah 41:10 says, "Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."
What better hand to cling to when we feel the waves sloshing over our grandchildren's heads.